Archive for March, 2009

Lucky 13,911

Monday, March 16th, 2009

That was my number on the Giants’ season ticket wait list, and I finally got the email a few weeks ago informing me that I was next in line to purchase season tickets. Amazingly, on the list since only 2001, I am now officially a New York Football Giants season ticket holder.

I had speculated when PSL’s were first introduced by the Giants last June, I would probably need about 15-20% of current season ticket holders to decline on a PSL to actually have a shot. That estimate has been shattered. Early sales figures had fans renewing in the 95th percentile, but as the affordable upper tier and mezz filled, sales hit a snag. Apparently, wait list members in the 20,000’s are getting the call for seats. Certainly the concept a personal seat license, and even more so the current economy, have played a large part in the Giants needing to reach deep into the wait list.

At $5K a pop, I purchased two seats. The only area left in the stadium remotely affordable is called Field 3, or endzone seating (fingers crossed for coffin corners). A bit steep in price, I’m looking at it as an investment, as selling the PSL for a profit in the future is always an alternative. But the chance to have my very own tickets and be part of a unique club, as well as helping to open a brand new stadium in 2010, was just too tempting to pass up.

Reese Gone Wild

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

I mean that in a good way. Not Dan Snyder wild. So much for my prediction that the Giants wouldn’t be big players in the free agent market. The weekend marked a bonanza as Jerry Reese made three signings, each one bigger than the last. Super Bowls aren’t won in March, but you’ve got to be smiling if you root for Big Blue.

Let’s start with what happened on Thursday. The Giants signed Brandon Jacobs to a four year deal that was fair to both sides. Want to know why Jacobs is one of the players featured on this site’s home page banner? He is the ultimate team player. You can see it in the way he conducts himself on the field, and this contract also proves it. Jacobs wanted to be here and both sides made it happen.

With Friday came the rumors of OLB Michael Boley already in discussions with the Giants. The deal got done and the Giants helped themselves in the one weak spot on this roster: linebacking. Boley looked to be Pro Bowl material after 2007, but lost his job last year when he didn’t fit into Mike Smith’s new defense in Atlanta as a strong side LB. Boley is a bit undersized, but can cover, rush the passer, and play “downhill” as they say. The Giants signed him because they feel he’s a great fit in how they play defense: aggressively. He is also a fine special teams player. Boley, just 26, will play the more suitable weakside with the Giants.

Saturday revealed the Giants were now negotiating with Rocky Bernard, DT from Seattle. Then things got complicated when DE Chris Canty (Dallas) diverted from Washington to East Rutherford because of the Albert Hainsworth signing by the Skins. Would the Giants sign Bernard, who would come with a less expensive price tag, or go for Canty who is younger but would command more money? The Giants got both.

Bernard will be part of a four man rotation at DT, but look for him to pay his biggest dividends on third down, teaming with Tuck, Osi, and Kiwi for the newest fearsome foursome. Canty is a big body (6-7, 300 lbs) who played end in Dallas’ 3-4 scheme. With the Giants 4-3, Canty will move inside and team with Fred Robbins at DT with the first and second down defense. Barry Cofield is the fourth wheel in the interior, but he’ll get his share of reps as the idea is to keep everyone fresh, especially come fourth quarter when games are won and lost. Tuck, Kiwi, Cofield, and Robbins got worn down last year. Getting Osi back plus these signings ensure that won’t happen again.

So what does all this mean? Initially, my instincts told me the chips were now there for a trade, something along the lines of Kiwi for a player like Braylon Edwards. But further inspection reveals the Giants are already planning for 2010. Fred Robbins has been one of those unheralded players that was truly a great free agent signing by the Giants back in 2004. But he’ll be 32 and a free agent after this year and it’s obvious that signing Canty and Bernard are meant for the longer haul. Cofield, also a free agent in 2010, would be the more likely candidate to be resigned. Cofield is younger and also proven his worth in this league.

This also means the Giants have the best DL and OL in the league right now, and that’s a recipe for winning NFL games. I don’t think these three defensive additions necessarily dictates the Giants will draft heavily on the offensive side of the ball. An eventual successor for Antonio Pierce and a strong side backer prospect would help too. Again, they have positioned themselves for taking the best available athlete. And with as many as 11 picks, things could get very interesting come draft day.